Avoiding the Path to Panem: An Educurious Learning Challenge

If your students are crazy about The Hunger Games(and who isn’t??), you have to check out our latest Learning Challenge, sponsored by Educurious!

In this project, students are challenged to answer the question, “What can we do to avoid the path that led to Panem, the post-apocalyptic world of The Hunger Games?”

Students must create a Glog with 1. evidence of a social, political, or environmental issue that explains how North America ended up in such a catastrophic predicament and 2. a call to action: what can we do to avoid that future?

Click here for the complete Learning Challenge.

Huge thanks to Educurious for being such an awesome partner! 

Go green with our Earth Day contest!

After a week full of “flipped classroom” discussion, I’m proud to announce our latest contest, which provides the perfect opportunity for extending learning outside your classroom walls!

Glogster EDU and the Go Green Initiative are challenging you and your students to take a good hard look at the water, energy, and food systems in your community. Where do your food, water, and energy come from? How does it make its way to your door? And what can you do to make those systems more sustainable?

We’re giving away almost $10,000 worth of prizes to individual students, classrooms, and schools, including water bottles, T-shirts, DVD’s, an organic garden, a ride on a stagecoach….seriously! These prizes are incredible.

The contest runs now through Earth Day, April 22, 2012. Click here for all the info .

In the words of a Glogster EDU flipper…

Today, I’ll let Glogster EDU Ambassador Lisa Salyer tell you in her in her own words how she uses Glogster EDU for flipped teaching. Take it away, Lisa!
When I discovered Glogster EDU,  I was struggling with how to incorporate meaningful higher level activities and project- based learning methods into my classroom.  Most educational software is limited to rote practice and memorization.  Glogster EDU is the only platform that I have found that allows for organization of teacher lessons, student projects, etc.
Glogster EDU is the absolute perfect platform for the flipped approach.  I think it is so important to demonstrate how you can create Glogs to meet diverse learning styles.  When possible I try to include a story, song, poetry, quotes, instructional podcasts, interactive practice, and enrichment through student creation of Glogs.

Oh! The Place You’ll Go

I strive to design my own Glogs so that students who are absent can access the Glog and make up the lesson at home.  My goal in creating Glogs vary; however, my instructional Glogs aim to set purpose, provide review, instruct, and provide guided/independent practice.  I am also able to extend and remediate through Glogs.
As for preparing, recording and assembling,  a teacher must be motivated to do this during evenings and weekends.  With that being said, once you establish your core then enriching and making changes is easily done!  I try to find podcasts that already meet my instructional needs — no need to reinvent the wheel, plus pre-made podcasts save me a huge amount of time. (Click on the Glog thumbnails for examples.)

Night Letters (click on the Voki!

 On those days when I become a facilitator in my class, I feel a great since of accomplishment. My students are all exploring and learning, and I am monitoring, correcting misconceptions, or challenging students to extend their learning.  Some of the proudest moments I have are when  students self-inititate Glogs on topics of interest to them and learn through their own research!
Lisa has generously provided a few of her own Glog presentations:

Language Arts Glogs 

Math Glogs

Famous Americans Glog Project

Student Podcasts <— If you’re only going to click on one link, make it this one! So great.
Thanks so much, Lisa. I’m inspired; are you?

What about younger learners? Flipped classrooms vs. flipped teaching

Today I attended a fantastic webinar titled The Art of a Flipped Classroom – Turning Learning on its Head, hosted by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, pioneers of the flipped movement. They brought up a question that comes up often in flipped discussions: How do primary school teachers flip their classrooms? Younger learners may not be equipped with the technological skills, self direction, or parental guidance required to learn material independently at home.
Jon Bergmann responded by making a distinction between a flipped classroom and the idea of flipped teaching as a general approach. It’s not necessary to flip every class every day! The question to ask yourself, he says, is simple: What is the best use of your class time? Focus on the answer to that question, and then see if you can shift anything not included in that answer outside your class time. Even if you flip just a few classes or units, if you’re making better use of your time together –interacting more, providing more opportunities for collaboration– then students will feel the positive effects.
Glogster EDU Ambassador Meghan Gagne teaches 3rd grade. While her students are not ready for a true flipped classroom, she incorporates flipped teaching by providing her students with Glogs to review at home.

 I use Glogs to  present a review of difficult concepts and pose extra credit assignments. I find it to be a very engaging way to give extra help when my kids need it most — when they are tackling homework without me. 
Do you think the flipped approach can be adapted to younger learners? How do you incorporate flipped teaching into your primary classrooms? Do tell!

Standardized test prep? Flip it!

Today, Glogster EDU Ambassador Robin Keating shares how she uses the flipped classroom approach to prepare her students for standardized tests.

I have been using Glogster EDU for my flipped classroom often this year.  Presently we are in a review period for our state test, the STAAR.  For each unit, the students view a Glog to review videos and songs, play games, and read notes.  I also include a mystery person for them to identify as an accountability piece.

They have two days to review the Glog material.  On the third day, I assign an in-class project for students to complete based on what they reviewed on the Glog.  With this approach, I don’t have to do whole group instruction; I can plan activities that review the necessary skills while I pull small groups off to the side for more personal attention.   I post all the Glogs on my Wikispace so my students can access them easily.

I love the idea to include a “mystery person” to hold students accountable for reviewing the Glogs. (Hiding Justin Beieber behind an image of a present? Genius!) Robin turns a potentially snore-inducing task like standardized test prep into a fun, hands-on activity that students can move through at their own pace.

Do you incorporate flipped methods into your test prep? Can you think of other ways to make test prep more engaging?

Tomorrow, Glogster EDU Ambassadors will show how they adapt flipped classroom strategies to younger learners. Stay tuned!

Flipping the science classroom

Welcome to flipped week! We canvassed Glogster EDU Ambassadors to see how they are incorporating the flipped classroom approach in their teaching practice, and this week we’re sharing their techniques with you. Today, Cindy Willits, 5th grade teacher at PA Virtual Charter School, describes how she uses Glogster EDU in her science curriculum.

I do science labs with my students online, record the Elluminate (BB Collaborate) session, and put the link to the recording on the Glog. I also use videos of the entire lab broken down and attach lab sheets, etc. on the Glog to offer students the chance to do the lab on their own at home.  These Glogs also serve as a resource for next year!  

Here is my favorite Glog utilizing this approach for science:  

Be sure to click on the Elluminate session link in Cindy’s Glog above. The energy and enthusiasm she brings to her virtual lab is so inspiring!

Those who work in non-virtual schools could provide a video Glog as pre-lab work for students to watch at home, so that they come to class the next day ready to jump right in. Or Glogs could serve as guides for at-home labs, as enrichment activities or extra credit.

What do you think about this flipped approach to science labs? Have you incorporated similar strategies in your own classroom? Please share!

Using Glogster EDU to make the flip

Much has been said (and debated) about the “flipped classroom,”  a pedagogical model in which the traditional classroom structure — lecture in class, homework at home — is “flipped.” Students watch or listen to prerecorded material at home, and engage in collaborative exercises, discussions, and projects  in class. (If you’re not familiar with the idea, this is a good overview.) 

The concept is simple, but in practice, an effective flipped model requires a great deal of preparation upfront. Fortunately, with Khan Academy quickly becoming a household name and the launch of Youtube for Schools, teachers now have access to tens of thousands of quality recordings to help them “make the flip” without necessarily creating all of the instructional material themselves. The question then becomes one of delivery — how to make those resources easily accessible to students and motivating enough so that students actually do the necessary preparations at home.

We hope that Glogster EDU provides you with the answer. It’s quick and easy  to embed instructional videos in a Glog, which students can view from home or wherever they have internet access. The creative format is completely customizable and visually engaging for students. You can embed a podcast in your Glog, link to online resources, or use the data attachment tool (with Glogster EDU Premium) to attach a short quiz to check for comprehension. Students can leave their questions in the Glog comments, so you know exactly what to focus on in class the next day.

There are pros and cons to the flipped classroom, of course (as with any learning model, once size never fits all), but the basic philosophy is one I think we can all get behind: students taking control of their own learning. When class time is reserved for active learning rather than passive note-taking, students get the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and engage with the material in a hands-on way that will lead to authentic, meaningful learning.

Or that’s the goal, anyway. This is where you come into the discussion! Glogster EDUcators, we want to hear from you. Are you a proponent of the flipped model? How do you put it into practice? Do you use Glogster EDU to make the flip, and if so, how?

We’ve asked a few of our Glogster EDU Ambassadors these questions, and next week I’ll be sharing their stories, resources, and sample Glogs. I’d love to include your stories, too — feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Stay tuned!

Image from David Truss’s “3 Keys to a Flipped Classroom.” 

Curious about the reseller program?

Join our weekly Twitter chat every Wednesday at 4 pm EDT using the hashtag #Gseller.

We’ll share ideas, discuss best practices, and answer your questions about the Glogster EDU reseller program.

Our first #Gseller chat immediately follows tomorrow’s free Webinar, Glogster EDU Resellers: Make $ doing what you love! at 3 pm.

Make sure to follow Glogster EDU on Twitter, too. See ya there!

 (“Cutielicious! A Free Twitter Bird Icon Set” is licensed under the Creative Commons license, designed by ChethStudios.net.)

YouTube for Schools — a new student-friendly video resource

According to YouTube, its hundreds of millions of users upload 48 hours of content every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years’ worth of content every day. The learning possibilities of such an enormous amount of free, accessible material are incredible. Unfortunately, the educational gems are often buried under cute cat videos at best, inappropriate or obscene material at worst. Which is why we usually refer educators to school-friendly, “closed” sites like SchoolTube to find quality videos to include in their Glogs. (When you click on “video” in the Glog edit tool, you’ll see the option to search through SchoolTube videos within the editor for easy drag-and-drop access. You can also copy/paste the link to embed it in your Glog.)

But now YouTube offers its very own YouTube for Schools, which allows educators and students to access hundreds of thousands of videos from reputable educational organizations like Stanford, PBS, TED, and Khan Academy. Search is limited to YouTube EDU, a subsection of YouTube with only education-related content.  Schools can configure their network to allow content from YouTube EDU and block all other YouTube content. YouTube offers in-depth instructions on how to do that here.

Read the recent New York Times article about YouTube for Schools, or check out their teacher channel for videos broken down by subject and grade level.

Do you currently use YouTube in your teaching practice, or does your school block access? Will you use YouTube for Schools, or stick to your tried-and-true video sites? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Update: New Glogster EDU Improvements

Today we rolled out another group of enhancements to make navigation easier on Glogster EDU. Check out what’s new!

  • Tabs keep all your management features in one place, within easy reach. No more scrollling!
  • Tabs now show the number of items inside for quick stats.
  • If you’re an Ambassador, your tools are now located above the live chat support.
  • Improved speed — even faster loading of all Dashboard items.

  • Click on the Ambassador icon to open your “toolkit.”
  • Not an Ambassador? Become one today!

The Glogster EDU team is working hard on more exciting product enhancements which we will announce soon. Stay tuned!

Glogster is Yours!

Show us your best lesson plan Glogs!

The Glogster EDU team is looking for some great lesson plan Glogs!

Our team is conducting market research and we’re looking for engaging, interactive Glogs focused on a specific lesson.

Whether you’re a biology teacher conducting a frog dissection lesson, a geometry teacher reviewing the Pythagorean Theorem, or anything in between, we’d love to see your Glog.

Just leave a comment with a link to your Glog, or add it to our scoop.it topic by clicking “suggest.”

Thanks in advance!

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